Dimataling has been recognized recently as the most progressive municipality in the province of Zamboanga del Sur, not only through its leader’s intellectual and physical effort to ensure the actual fulfillment of their programs but also the massive and productive results in terms of agriculture which is the main livelihood of the community.
Behind this success are the different denominations present in the 24 barangays such as Subanen, Cebuano/Bisaya, and Ilonggo. Among these denominations are Muslims. Barangays Poblacion, Tipange, Mahayag, and Saloagan are dominated by Muslims who belong to Maguindanao, Samal and Iranon tribes.
Muslim culture has its own distinct set of customs and traditions that are still present in their day to day lives despite their openness to the modern world of western culture. However, sometimes, “tradition interferes with their religion” which is Islam. They have the same faith but with diverse expressions of it. Some of them have already embraced changes while others retain the old ways, believing that their custom or tradition must be preserved as what it was.
Common practices of Muslims in Dimataling are observed at wedding ceremonies, other festivals and celebrations wherein ancient music instruments like kulintang, agung, and dabak are being used. Muslims enjoy the mellifluous music they produce. Dayonday can also be observed at a wedding wherein two or three singers or musicians sing love songs while playing a guitar to entertain the audience. Nowadays, “organ” is mostly requested by the bride’s family especially from a Maguindanao tribe. It is a form of a concert where a band or musicians sing modern songs in their own tongue with an accompaniment of a keyboard or a piano.
Mulims also have a particular type of clothing. A long time ago, “malong” was more popular among Muslim women. These days, women prefer to wear long and loose dresses with a headscarf also known as “tundong” to cover themselves from foot to head. They are also known for their preferences of bright colors and glittering accessories they wear in an important occasion or event.
Their food and delicacies are unmistakably distinctive to the eyes and taste such as dodol, kumukunsi, bulwa and tinadtag among others. They are served to visitors in many important occasions like weddings, Ramadhan, feasts, etc.
Verily, Dimataling is a place of diverse culture shared by its people.